Healthcare is the biggest industry in the world today and the most costly for older adults. In 2012, the U.S. healthcare business hit $3 trillion. According to Deloitte, The United States spends more on medical care over many countries in the world. We spent close to 17.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013, and it grew by an average of 4.9 percent in 2014. By 2018, the GDP will rise to 17.9 percent.
Even though seniors have access to Medicare, they are not insulated from the burden of medical care expenditures. Consumers pay a better portion of their plan premiums and undergoing higher out-of-pocket costs. The increases will continue as more Americans develop chronic conditions in older age.
Improving the system requires the pursuit of cultivating the experience of care, advancing the health of populations and decreasing the costs. For this to materialize, major shifts need to take place. The Seniorcare.com Aging Council identified nine trends expected to see the most disruption and transformation within the system.
Dan Hogan, Medalogix: The shift in fee-for-service to value-based care is the most disruptive development American healthcare has ever experienced. Providers receive reimbursement for patients' care outcomes rather than for visits. It's a focus on quality vs. quantity. Since the value-based disrupts care, the market focuses on developing technologies to help providers flourish. American ingenuity at its finest. The tech-enabled care that emphasizes patient data are the most critical of this time. In healthcare, we collect so much information from our patients and until now, that information hasn't been analyzed to improve efficiency and effectiveness, which is the aim of value-based care.
Shannon Martin, Aging Wisely: The trend toward self-management/empowerment is changing things and will continue. Consumers seek out information, come prepared with questions for providers (and research what has best success rates, etc.) Online medical records systems and communications tools, and transparent data are the things patients will demand, which have the potential to change healthcare for the better.
Kim Crawford, M.D., AgingWell Solutions: Hopefully, the trend towards disease prevention. People are drinking less soda-both regular and diet. Carefully constructed legislation, public health education efforts and personal responsibility are on the rise. It potentially has an enormous impact not only on the lives of all but the healthcare bills of the United States.
Kathy Birkett, Senior Care Corner: Widespread use of remote medical assessment and monitoring using technology to treat seniors and individuals with little or no access to healthcare will be disruptive. It could prevent hospitalization in frail seniors with obstacles to doctor visits such as transportation or mobility. The technology needs to be in place, but all sides could benefit--seniors, caregivers, providers and payers.
Anthony Cirillo, The Aging Experience: Transparency will erupt. Consider a recent Health Affairs article that compared the content of Yelp narrative reviews of hospitals to the topics in the HCAHPS survey, a standardized tool. They found that "the majority of Yelp themes that strongly correlate with positive or negative reviews are not measured or reported by HCAHPS." Providers have to pay attention to these reviews.
Defy the system
Harsh Wanigaratne, Spedsta: Aging has long been considered an inevitable part of life. This assumption, tested by Google (Calico) and the Palo Alto Longevity Prize, look at aging as a trait that can be turned on and off. It will certainly be disruptive as 90% of ALL U.S. health care dollars is spent in the last two years of life.
Laurie Miller, Apple Care and Companion. I think we will see some new "Out of the Box" thinking and blending of ideas in the caregiving space that will become disruptive. The consumer/family also needs to take control and become a self-advocate. People need to ask more questions!
Ryan McEniff, Minute Women Homecare: I see technology companies where you open an app, click a few buttons, and an aide will come to your house as being very disruptive. It can be amazing or disastrous. The convince amazing, but this is not a maid service. There is far more involved and at stake when an aide comes to someone's home, and the wrong helper could be problematic for many reasons.
Betsie Sassen, Capitol Consulting: Information is power and the wearables, and apps that lower patients' doctor visits and assist them in managing their health care conditions will continue to transform the system. Additionally, with a shrinking healthcare workforce and an ever-growing older adult population, artificial intelligence will become part of the solution.
Ben Mandelbaum, Senior Planning: Wearable devices have exponentially been gaining popularity, including heart rate monitoring, activity tracking, and fall detection. For example, these small devices can detect when their wearer has fallen and contact emergency personnel. Another ever-growing trend is personalized healthcare, utilizing various diagnostic tests to predict how a patient will respond to different treatments.
Dr. Eboni Green, Caregivers Support Services: Most health care will shift from brick and mortar to virtual assistance. Simulated doctor's visits are commonplace but will likely be the preferred method used to access preventative and non-urgent care. It is not only going to disrupt the current system but empowers consumers to become more informed.
Evan Farr, Farr Law Firm. People are open to the idea that robotic health aids or 'health bots' and drones are becoming a force for good in healthcare. Wearables, apps, and digital diagnostics will also create robust health platforms that will move beyond popular apps and trackers.
Connie Chow, Daily Caring. The most significant changes in healthcare will come from big data and empowered consumers. Insights from data collected by active and passive sensors help healthcare providers better identify, treat, and prevent serious illness. When consumers educate themselves and take ownership of their health, they push the entire healthcare system to change and emphasize the quality of life and patient-centered care.